"If you want to be among the top [smartphone] providers, you have to be in China. It's a maths problem," he said. "We see this as a huge synergy as part of the Lenovo acquisition."
Mr Osterloh said that it was "incredibly painful for us" to stop doing business in China under Google.
But after being written off by some analysts, a revamped product line-up helped Motorola to double its unit sales last year, Mr Osterloh said, giving it confidence to accelerate its international expansion after several years of retrenchment. From a low point of selling in just 10 countries, Motorola is now in 50 markets and expanding further.
"We've got a lot of momentum," Mr Osterloh said. "The counterpoint to that is, a year-and-a-half ago we did not a have a lot of momentum. We had hit a low point in our quarterly shipments."
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Mr Osterloh said that Motorola's near-death experience gave it the freedom to rethink its products and manufacturing, including the ability to produce thousands of different potential configurations of its Moto X, which customers can choose from an online portal that will also be made available in China.
"Our focus going forward is a small number of great products, great software and giving users the power to choose," he said.
Describing the changes required to provide extensive customization as a "restart" for the business and its supply chain, he said: "It would be exceptionally hard for someone at massive scale to do this. It was a unique capability that was made possible quite frankly because we were so small."